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Hoarse Clinton Has a Cold

October 30, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton is fighting a cold.

During a joint news conference with Chinese President Jiang Zemin on Wednesday, Clinton was clearly losing his voice. After croaking out a comment on human rights in China, he motioned for press secretary Mike McCurry, who slipped behind a nearby door and returned to hand him two paper cups.

``I gave him a choice of hot tea or water,″ said McCurry. ``He elected both.″

Clinton drank both beverages before the news conference was over, a thirst that McCurry attributed to a between-seasons cold.

``He’s coming down with a bug,″ McCurry said. ``He was feeling achy too.″

By night’s end, Clinton was barely able to speak. Managing to thank the National Symphony Orchestra for its state-dinner performance, he bid Jiang a good night, skipped the dancing and headed straight for the White House residence.

Clinton, who has struggled with laryngitis on and off since the 1992 campaign, has been blaming his current voice problems on a change of weather over the weekend _ and a lot of singing and talking with visitors who came in for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 50th birthday celebration.

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